25 Interesting (and Odd) Brooklyn Facts


In the past I have done “25 Interesting (and Odd) Facts” about such destinations as the cities of Chicago and Las Vegas, the state of Californiaand of course my beloved Ne York City. But I feel that Brooklyn, my favorite part of New York, deserves its own post about what makes this place so unique and special.

Drive (or take the train) 10 minutes in any direction and the scenery, people and best of all cuisine will more than likely change due to the ethnic group that has taken over that piece of the borough.

Immigrants from such destinations around the world like Poland, Russia, Ireland, Italy, China and Israel have provided Brooklyn with their own unique flavor and vibrant personality, making this destination truly a “must visit” the next time you make your way to New York.

So when planning a vacation to the Big Apple, save a little time to travel across the Brooklyn, Manhattan or Williamsburg bridge (aka “B.M.W.”), to take in all that Brooklyn, New York has to offer.

1) While most people know it as simply Brooklyn, this New York borough also goes by the name Kings County and the “Borough of Homes and Churches.”
2) Brooklyn was originally its own separate city. It was not until the turn of the nineteenth century that Brooklyn merged with the City of New York. Many Brooklyn residents called the move “the Great Mistake of 1898.”

3) Brooklyn has approximately 2.5 million residents, which means if it were to be separated from the rest of New York City, Brooklyn would become the 4th most populous U.S. city.

4) Brooklyn is the 7th most populous county in the United States behind such major cities as Los Angeles and San Diego.

5) While physically located on the island, Brooklyn is not considered a part of Long Island.

6) To make matters more confusing, the Brooklyn History Museum was called the Long Island Historical Society up until the 1980s

7) Brighton Beach is home to the largest concentration of Russian immigrants in New York.

Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer behind New York City’s Central Park, also designed Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. When asked which park he preferred, Olmsted said his Brooklyn creation was the nicer of the two.

9) Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge.

10) Brooklyn’s official motto is Een Draght Mackt Maght. It is written in the old Dutch language and translates to In Unity There is Strength.

11) A whopping 38 percent of current Brooklynites are foreign born.

12) Brooklyn has roughly 700 arts and cultural institutions.

13) Brooklyn has 30 miles of waterfront.

14) Serving up pies since the 1940s, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is a “no slices” restaurant located under the Brooklyn Bridge.

15) Brooklyn had a major league baseball team (The Brooklyn Dodgers) up until the 1950s when they moved to Los Angeles. These days locals can enjoy a game at Coney Island with the popular Cyclones softball team.

16) The average price of an apartment in Brooklyn is about $630,000.

17) About 66 percent of Brooklynites take public transit to get to and from work daily.

18) The median age of a Brooklyn resident is 34.7 years.

19) Brooklyn is chock full of Universities and Colleges. Some of the more popular and well respected include: Brooklyn College, Polytechnic University, Pratt Institute, Packer Collegiate Institute, St. Joseph’s College, St. Francis College and Brooklyn Law School.

20) The Cyclone, a hybrid roller coaster at Coney Island, has been entertaining thrill seekers for over 83 years.  It was named a New York City landmark in 1988 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

21) Nicknamed “Little Poland”, the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn has the second largest concentration of Polish immigrants outside of Chicago.

22) Families make up 64 percent of Brooklyn households.

23) Some things invented in Brooklyn include the deep-fried twinkie, sweet & low, teddy bears, America’s first roller coaster and in 1946 the first bank credit card was used at Flatbush National Bank.

24) The original Nathan’s also known as Nathan’s Famous, was opened in 1916 as a hot dog stand by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker. The menu at this Brooklyn landmark offers much more than hot dogs and cheese fries. Visitors can such original menu items as frogs legs and beer.

25) The borough we know today as “Brooklyn” was named by Dutch colonists after a village in the Netherlands called “Breuckelen.”

I was actually contacted by someone that lives in Breuckelen and he said that if I ever wanted to visit, I would have a place to stay and a personal tour guide. He now calls himself the “Breuckelen Nomad.” Perhaps someday I will take him up on that offer.